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Home Sports An Amandala 1980 football flashback – Ricky Gongora & Maurice Jones

An Amandala 1980 football flashback – Ricky Gongora & Maurice Jones

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Dec. 28, 2021– While trying to fulfill a picture search request by recent Belizean American Football Hall of Fame honoree, legendary Lake striker Enrique “Ricky” Gongora, we came across a number of interesting sports commentaries in the Amandala newspaper during the month of October, 1980.

Belize City football has been in the doldrums ever since the decision to temporarily close down the MCC for “renovations” back in June of 2013, which soon resulted in the demise of our then Premier League representative, FC Belize; and since then, what was once the Mecca of Belize football, the MCC, has not entertained a home based team competing at the highest level of the sport in Belize.

But back in the 1970s, and on into the 1980s and even the 90s, 1st Division and then semipro football at the MCC Grounds in Belize City was often described in the Amandala as “Fire on the Barracks!” And it was indeed, as aptly captured in some of the articles reporting on the weekend football fireworks on the MCC.

Two legendary strikers from the 1970s into early ‘80s are depicted in the Amandala articles below. There were, of course, a number of other big name players from that era, but we won’t start listing names right now or that could lead to problems. The Belize National Football Hall of Fame should deal with that; it’s long overdue.

As promised, below are a couple articles taken from October 1980 editions of Amandala:

Ricky Gongora: What Else Is There To Say?

The GARDEN, Sun. Oct. 5 (1980)– Witz All Stars’ striker Ricky Gongora (and what is there

Ricky Gongora

to write that hasn’t already been written about Kid Striker?) gave his team – the defending league champions – an insurmountable 3-0 lead over marathon and knockout champions Independence Rangers this afternoon with his third goal, in the middle of the second half.

The Ranger stopper, miffed at Gongora’s heroics, began a fight, fans swarmed the field, and then hard rains came.

They will have to find a division higher than the first for Ricky Gongora.

In the first game, Coke Landivar and BDF played to a 2-2 draw.

On Saturday in the second division, where young men play for the love of the sport, New Frontiers easily grounded Ladyville Harriers 3-1, and Dunlop from Hattieville overpowered Pathfinders 2-0.

The Maurice Jones Show

THE GARDEN, Sun. Oct. 17 (1980)– Every team seems like champion for a week. It was Independence Rangers after Pabon won the marathon for them. It was Witz All Stars after Ricky Gongora gonged the Rangers. And after today, and until they run into something hard, it is Belprint whose superstriker Maurice Jones scored twice to waste Witz All Stars 2-1 here this evening.

Maurice Jones (CAN)

Early in the game, Referee Delhart Courtenay awarded a penalty to Witz, which Ricky Gongora slammed quite savagely into the right pigeonhole.

Just a couple of minutes later, Courtenay awarded Belprint a penalty, which Maurice Jones slammed just as savagely into the left pigeonhole, and that was all the scoring for the first half.

Belprint won it 2-1 on a spectacular second half goal. Their left wing Ewart Bradley had broken free along the left sideline into Witz territory.

Ricky Gongora gave chase all the way from his striker position and caught up with Bradley just as he pushed the ball too far ahead of him. This was deep in Witz territory near the corner flag in front of the pavilions. Gongora took away the ball, then harried by Bradley, decided on the spur of the moment to slam it to his surehanded goalkeeper Orin Oio.

Ricky was probably winded by the long run on top of the special defensive treatment he had gotten from Lino and McDonald and decided to hit Orio and catch his breath.

As it was, the ball was hard hit and about to go over the goal line to Orio’s right when he lunged to bring it back into play and save the corner.

But there was Maurice Jones waiting like a shark, Johnny-on-the-spot. As Orio slapped the ball and it began to descend, Ricio caught it with his left foot on the volley and slammed it into the net. The ball touched ground then for the first time since Gongora kicked it. Goal….. Jones, assisted by Orio and Gongora. Bedlam.

On the volley or half-volley, there is no striker in Belize quite as dangerous as Maurice Jones.

The Belprint team from their days as Roses, has a history of defeating Witz (formerly Berger and Haig’s) but they invariably lose to Independence Rangers (formerly Chito’s). So.

In the first game, BDF bombed Fort George United 5-2. The United youth worked too hard

Belprint goalie Noel Ferguson (Selmo)

in the first half “sun hot”, and only got one goal out of all their breaks. BDF got stronger in the second half and FGU melted like butter under a hot knife.

BDF will give big teams trouble in the 1:30 heat. It does look as if our army is in good physical shape.

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